Ricky Gervais talks Golden Globes and his new HBO show
If you don't get Ricky Gervais, who in two days will be the most feared man in a Beverly Hills ballroom as the host of the Golden Globe awards, there's probably a good reason.
You're not very smart.
Speaking at the winter TV media tour Friday morning, the British comedian who was widely attacked after his last stint as Globes host said people who were offended by his last performance are misinterpreting his comic jabs and barbs.
People often "confuse the target of the joke with the subject," Gervais said. "I think smart people know what we're trying to do."
"We're not just trying to be outrageous for outrageous sake," he added. "The job of a comedian is to make you laugh and to make you think as well."
Gervais appeared on an HBO panel with executive producer Stephen Merchant and actor Warwick Davis, who together are behind an upcoming series "Life's Too Short," which takes aim at the overblown culture of celebrity and culture. The comedy is centered around Davis, who plays a fictionalized version of himself, as he tries to navigate himself back into spotlight.
"There's no difference now between fame and infamy," Gervais said, adding that it's impossible to exaggerate the absurdity of show business. "There's no shame, there's no shame in anything."
Gervais said he has complete control over what he will say Sunday night -- and as long as he's satisfied with his performance, he'll have no qualms about whatever the critics think.
"What's the worst that can happen," Gervais said. "If I'm happy with my performance, then you're bullet-proof."
"I don't care what people think," he added.
-- Martin Miller
Photo: Ricky Gervais, left, and Warwick Davis. The two are behind a new HBO show called "Life's Too Short." Credit: HBO